Rebecca Roiphe

Professor of Law
Co-Dean for Faculty Scholarship

Rebecca Roiphe

Rebecca Roiphe joined the faculty in 2007 after teaching for two years at Fordham Law School. Professor Roiphe has her Ph.D in American History from the University of Chicago and her J.D. from Harvard Law School. After graduating from law school, she clerked for the Honorable Bruce Selya on the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit and served as a Golieb Fellow at New York University School of Law. Professor Roiphe also worked as an associate at Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering LLP and as an Assistant District Attorney in the New York County District Attorney’s Office where she prosecuted money laundering, securities fraud, and corporate crime.

Professor Roiphe studies the history of the legal profession, focusing on the interaction between lawyers’ work and the rhetoric or ideals of professionalism. Drawing on her experience as a prosecutor in New York as well as her training as a historian, Professor Roiphe uses the history of the profession to explore how ideals of independence have persisted as the daily occupation of lawyers has changed. As the legal market puts pressure on lawyers to respond to client demands, Professor Roiphe believes it is even more important to try to distill what it is, if anything, that makes a profession distinct and socially useful. In a series of articles and most recently in a book project, she has looked to history to help answer this question.

Rethinking Prosecutors’ Conflicts of Interest, 58 B.C. L. Rev. (forthcoming 2017) (with Bruce Green)

The Decline of Professionalism, 29 Geo. J. L. Ethics 649 (2016).

Redefining Professionalism, 26 U. Fl. J. of L. and Pub. Pol’y 193 (2016)

The Serpent Beguiled Me: A History of the Entrapment Defense, NYLS Legal Studies Research Paper No. 1213 #73 (2013), available at SSRN: or

A History of Professionalism: Julius Henry Cohen and the Professions as a Route to Citizenship, 40 Fordham Urb. L. J. 33 (2012)

The Ethics of Willful Ignorance, 24 GEO. J. LEGAL ETHICS 187 (2011)

Book Review, Laura Wittern-Keller and Raymond Witterski, Jr., The Miracle Case: Film Censorship and the Supreme Court, 28 LAW AND HIST. REV. (2010)

Lawyering at the Extremes: The Representation of Tom Mooney, 1916-1939, 77 FORDHAM L. REV. 1731 (2009)

Regulating Discourtesy on the Bench, 64 N.Y.U. ANN. SURVEY OF AM. LAW 497 (2009) (with Bruce Green)

The Most Dangerous Profession, 39 CONN. L. REV. 603 (2006)

The Serpent Beguiled Me: A History of the Entrapment Defense, 33 SETON HALL L. REV. 257 (2003)